East Hawaii News

OHA Awards More than $600K in Grants to Support Native Hawaiian Education, Community Events

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The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded more than $600,000 to several organizations and events throughout the islands. A total of 13 OHA grant programs are being funded this year.

“OHA cannot achieve its vision of raising a beloved lāhui alone, and it is our goal to support community organizations and entities that are already successfully serving the lāhui in the areas of education, health, housing and economics,” OHA Board Chairman Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey said in a press release. “By collaborating in a spirit of lōkahi we can together accomplish so much more.”

The grants include a $220,000 award to support Hoʻokākoʻo Corp.’s Ke Awa Ho‘omalu (Safe Harbor) program, one of three education-focused grants announced Tuesday, June 28. The two-year grant will increase access for Native Hawaiian schoolchildren and their families to Hawaiian culture-based educational, behavioral and mental health services.

Waimea Middle School is one of the schools where Ke Awa Hoʻomalu will be implemented. The other is Kualapuʻu Preschool and Elementary on Molokaʻi.


Awards in the Community Grants-Education and ʻAhahui Grants programs, totaling more than $600,000, are the first OHA grants to be announced this year. This is the first of four award cycles OHA will conduct throughout the year for the ‘Ahahui Grants program.

The OHA Community Grants-Education program’s purpose is to support culture and community-based programming that use ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and nohona Hawaiʻi to meet the educational needs of families and communities.

Additional education awards went to:

  • Educational Services Hawaiʻi Foundation. The foundation was awarded $180,000 to support its ‘Imi ‘Ike Learning Centers on the Big Island, Oʻahu, Maui, Molokaʻi and Kauaʻi.
  • Laʻiōpua 2020. The Big Island nonprofit was awarded $141,000 for its Waʻa Project, intended to close the educational achievement gap experienced by haumāna by improving their knowledge of Native Hawaiian language and culture and traditional learning systems.

The ‘Ahahui Grant program provides funds for nonprofit organizations hosting a onetime community event that aligns with OHA’s strategic plan framework and provides significant benefits to the Native Hawaiian community.

ʻAhahui awards totaling $72,170 went to 10 organizations in the first grant cycle.

The grants include:

  • $10,000 to Aloha Week Hawaiʻi for its Aloha Festivals Parade.
  • $10,000 to Laʻiōpua for “Kona Mele-A Tribute to Kona.”
  • $9,900 to ODKF Support for Duke’s Ocean Fest.
  • $9,000 to Big Island Substance Abuse Council for its Summer Jam.
  • $8,200 to Ke Ao Haliʻi for Pule ʻĀina o Mokae a me Makaʻalae.
  • $7,500 to Na Mamo O Muʻolea for Hanana No Nā Limu.
  • $5,050 to Adult Friends for Youth for the PEARL Convention.
  • $5,400 to Kaikeha INC. for the Garden Island Boogie Board Classic and Hubb Keiki Fest.
  • $4,600 to Hana Arts for Uniting the East Maui Community.
  • $2,520 to Ka Laʻi a ʻEhu for Lā Kūpuna and Lā ʻEhunui.

OHA awarded some $16 million in grants to community organizations last fiscal year, a record for the agency. OHA’s grant programs represent the largest chunk of the organization’s annual budget and support Hawaiʻi-based nonprofit organizations that have projects, programs and initiatives that serve the lāhui in alignment with OHA’s Mana i Mauli Ola strategic plan.

Learn more about OHA and its programs by clicking here.

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